Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vernissages | Hudson, May 28

Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend and Hudson Warrent Street was vibrant with art openings as a Thursday in Chelsea. My visual memories:

Roy Volkmann Walls and Other Metaphors at TK Gallery

The Carriage House at John Davis with a site specific installation by Pamela Wallace

Thread, Pixels, Paper and Water: Nature and Memory at Carrie Haddad Photographs

The Hudson Pride Foundation hosted a party at 3FortySeven

Friday, May 27, 2011

Commentary | Create, Make, Share!

In the last three decades, the creative process has reached unparalleled heights with the advent of digital technologies. Three and multi-dimensional forms can be generated from the most intricate complex geometries to biological growth based algorithms, creating quite elaborate virtual worlds. But until recently these virtual world were bounded to the computer monitor or video projection screen. In the last decade the process of making physical object from virtual models has become increasingly affordable, allowing many designers and artists to build sculptures and design prototypes directly from a digital 3d model.
I started working with digital fabrication several years ago, initially with laser cutting and stereolithography, more recently with 3d printing, courtesy of Z Corporation. Zprinters marks a milestone in the road to affordability of technologies, which were once privilege of large commercial enterprises or academic circles.
The MakerBot 3d printer is also becoming quite widespread, mainly among artists, and promising for its affordability (priced approx. $1200) ---although lacking the level of detail and versatility with materials of the ZPrinters. MakerBot, which uses ABS plastic filament as printing material, was presented a couple of weeks ago (yes, sorry to be late in blogging as my to-do list grows at exponential rate) at the 3rd Ward in Brooklyn. The event was very well attended; artist in residence Kyle McDonald scanned heads of visitors, and the files are available to download at
Thingiverse is the other end of the spectrum of the creative process: sharing. A very strong community of digital artists, designers and “makers” in general seem to gather in several Internet based networks to exhibit their creation and sharing them with other users. The revolution seems to come to full circle, when people are using social media and other forms of Internet based networking to communicate and share their work, almost an answer to large corporation who often make the latest technologies available only at high cost.
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is translating into reality, at least for the digital community?

Vernissages NYC | "Nancy Grossman: Combustion Scapes" and "Collage" at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

Nancy Grossman: Combustion Scapes opened tonight. From the gallery press release:
The exhibition features eight mixed media collage drawings and two large-scale assemblages inspired by Kilauea Volcano—believed to be the home of Pele, the Hawaiian fire and volcano goddess—which the artist visited in 1992 while in Hawaii for the opening of her last traveling retrospective at the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu. The collages are unique in that they are the only body of work Grossman has ever created in direct response to something external to her own psyche. The show is especially timely given the volcanic, seismic, and meteorological disruptions that have ricocheted around the world in the last several years."

The group show Collage also opened; this exhibition include works by: Jay DeFeo , Burgoyne Diller, Michael Goldberg , Nancy Grossman, Alfred Leslie , Conrad Marca-Relli, Anne Ryan, Betye Saar, Joseph Stella, Lenore Tawney, Charmion von Wiegand. A few images from the show:

JosephStella "Hardy Proust" and Lenore Tawney "Find Your Place in the Great Mandala"

Nancy Grossman: Combustion Scapes

May 26 - August 5, 2011
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
24 West 57 Street

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vernissages NYC | Art Can Heal: Alex Melamid "Art Healing Ministry"

Can art heal?

The answer is yes. From my personal experience creativity has always been a survival means.
But conceptual artist (and friend) Alexander Melamid, has gone much further, by creating, presenting and marketing art as healing tool, actually religion. Alex launched tonight his new project, the "Art Healing Ministry" in a Soho storefront.
Melamid states that "art can heal" and has set up an Art Clinic installation to perform healing treatments utilizing representations of Modern and Old Master Art masterpieces, from ancient Roman art, Botticelli and Raffaello Sanzio to Van Gogh, Lichtenstein and Kiefer.
The Clinic offers different type of treatments including "Art Evaluation and Immersion," with "Art Rejuvenation and Maintenance."
Initial Clinic consultation are FREE and by appointment.

Art Healing Ministry's Clinic
98 Thompson Street
tel. (212).334.0403

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vernissages NYC | Gego and the Beauty of Geometry

"GEGO: Prints & Drawings 1963-1991" opened tonight at the Frederico Sève Gallery. The exhibition features prints, drawings and a book by the German born, Venezuelan artist, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912-1994). A quote from the artist introduces her artwork: "The clean and well-defined form that live around us are proof of the greatness of formations and creations beyond what is visible on Earth".
I feel very connected with Gego: she was too an artist and architect, and her work, like mine, focused on geometry and space. In Gego, lines are the main subject as creation of a vocabulary of complex forms derived from simple elements and are explored in different media, from drawings and prints to steel wire sculptures —expanding from the two-dimensional place to three-dimensional space.
Gego's ouvre can be associated to minimalism, kinetic and other geometry based art movements, similarly to Sol Lewitt, Yahoi Kusama, Jesus Rafael Soto , Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica. As an explorer of the geometry of the virtual worlds I wonder what her work would be like if she had available contemporary digital media...

More work celebrating the beauty of geometry in display at the gallery:

Jesus Rafael Soto "Incliné bleu et noir" , 1966

Omar Rayo "Witoto", 1970

GEGO: Prints & Drawings 1963-1991
Frederico Sève Gallery
37 West 57 Street
New York
May 25 – July 7, 2011

Exhibitions | NYC, Traveling Full Circle: Frank Stewart’s Visual Music

Don’t miss this engaging art- and photo-documentary exhibition at the Peter Jay Sharp Arcade, 5th floor, Frederick P. Rose Hall at Columbus Circle, NYC. Images are by Frank Stewart, senior staff photographer at Lincoln Center.
Stewart travels the world with the Center’s Orchestra, and best of all, he takes stunning pictures, many of which are found in Sweet Swing Blues on the Road, written by Wynton Marsalis.
On view are images from Stewart’s early travels to Africa and Cuba in the 1970s;

through his artistic studies with Romare Bearden that lasted until Bearden’s death in 1988;

and into the 1990s with his work at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the National Urban League’s Gallery 62, the Kenkeleba House, and Cinque Gallery.

A photo from New Orleans after Katrina

On May 20, a panel, including Stewart, exhibition co-curators Robert O’Meally and C. Daniel Dawson, the noted photography critic A. D. Coleman, and Dr. Petra Richterova explored Stewart’s work in the context of jazz photography, an art form in itself.
Photography and jazz came of age together; until the Rhythm ‘n Blues era, jazz had the most musical influence on photography. Jazz was extremely expressive physically and exciting to photograph. Both endured a second-class status in the arts world, another point of common ground.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

camminando | Places: Framing Nature and Inner States at Hawk Rock

I learned of Hawk Rock from an article in the NY Times. The rock grouping stands in an hemlock forest in the town of Kent, Putnam County, New York State, about 75 miles north of New York City. Hawk Rock was presented in the article as one of those magical places of the planet, where some people can have mystical experiences; it reminded me of the magical charisma of Monte Soratte, near Rome, a destination of several weekend trips during my youth. Hawk Rock requires only a short detour from my usual route to Sun Farm, and yesterday I finally decided to take some time off from the usual weekend “work in the land”, right on May 21, the day of the so much talked “rapture”, a quite proper time to have the mystical experiences, as claimed by the folk stories on Hawk Rock.
The map tells me that the rock is located 1.6 miles from the parking area. It was warm and humid as the bugs reminded me when I entered the forest; the rain accumulation of the past week made the otherwise comfortable trail filled with mud and engorged the streams running through the forest.
Forests are always dense of meaning, symbols and metaphors. I started finding my own symbols in the forest trails leading to the rock, trying to achieve what in the article was defined as “a portal to another dimension”. The path were interrupted by countless tree trunks; some of the fallen trees were actually framing not well identified views; I associated these otherwise unnoticed trail interruptions to “symbolic gates”. My perceptions were particularly alert and started noticing many nature scenes: spiral coiling of worms, a vivid color salamander, concerts of chirping birds, complex fractal shapes of the widespread ferns, the loud sound of streams. We stopped briefly at Balanced Rock, which is, similarly to Hawk Rock, what geologists define as “erratic” a rock transported from a different location by a glacier during the last Ice Age. A few hundreds feet later, we finally reached Hawk Rock, a thirty-foot high monolith, whose majestic presence is accentuated by its location in the center of an evergreen grove, emerging from a soft carpet of evergreen needles.
Do not expect spectacular views or hawks flying around you; Hawk Rock is only at an elevation of 600 feet. I did not have a mystical experience. But the hike brought me calm and a serene meditative state of mind, in a perception of nature framing an inner spiritual landscape…and this can perhaps be considered entering another dimension, beyond the tumultuous overload of perceptions of urban life.

"Gates" on the way to Hawk Rock

Encounter with a salamander

Balanced Rock

Views of Hawk Rock

A stone chamber

Excerpts from the conceptual multimedia project
“Axes Mundi: Perceptions and Understanding of Places as Intersections of Space, Time and Culture"

Commentary | An Author Publishing Nightmare

I look at my weekly calendar and I see Tuesday May 24 marked as “book signing”.
The place is the “BE Together”conference in Philadelphia, organized by Bentley Systems.
The book is “Form, Geometry, Structure | from Nature to Design” and the publisher is Bentley Institute Press.

But there will be no book signing, since there is no printed book. A few numbers —an excerpt from hundreds of related communications— to summarize the agony of the book author:
  • A completed manuscript with images was submitted on May 10, 2010.
  • According to an email dated June 2 2010 the book “should go to print no later than August”
  • In a September 2010 conversation the book publication has been postponed to the October 2010 Acadia conference.
  • In an email dated January 6, the book publication is announced for the Smart Geometry conference (March 2011).
  • In an email dated March 25 I am invited to do a book signing on May 24, at the opening reception of the BE Together Conference.
  • In an email dated April 5, after noticing once again lack of progress in production, I inquiry about a firm publication date. The same day I receive a reply “We will have the book finished for the author signing in May.”

Any insight to solve the mystery of this book not being published would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Public Art | NYC, East 50s

Yesterday evening we celebrated a feast for sight, hearing, touch, and taste as we sauntered from Eataly, having had our tasty glass of bubbly, to St. Peter’s church (for the ears), by way of Bloomingdale’s (the always-welcome touch of silk, diamonds, etc.).

But for the eyes, it was all sculpture, sculpture, sculpture. Created by the French artist Julien Marinetti, we once again couldn’t believe how superbly Doggy John XXL surveyed its domain in The New York Palace Courtyard. From the largest perspectives to the cave-man like etchings/scratchings? on its body, it stood firm keeping St. Patrick’s Cathedral in its sight.

From dogs to teddy bears, right there on Park Ave. Urs Fischer, New-York based Swiss artist, has plopped BIG ART, a big yellow sculpture, 35,000 pounds, right in front of the Seagram building. Where have we been? And what about that light? A reading lamp? A miner’s hat?

And check out these roses created by Will Ryman of Paul Kasmin Gallery in conjunction with the NY City Dept. of Parks and Recreation. We thought of it as “Petals on Park,” because our mind jumped to “pedals on Park” (more bicycles, less cars, please). 38 giant pink and red roses climb between three and 25 feet in height, dwarfing the neighboring streetlights and avenue traffic.

And finally, a lovely concert by the community-based Centre Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alex Guzman included works by Handel, Bach, and Saint-Saens. Playing with them on the church’s organ, built by Johannes Klais of Bonn, Germany, was world-renowned organist Michael Bower.